Green Spaces: Schlitz
Tucked into the surrounding landscape and just 15 miles from downtown Milwaukee, the Dorothy K. Vallier Environmental Learning Center at the Schlitz Audubon Center serves as an inspiring space to learn, as well as a great promoter of sustainable design. Since opening in 2003, it has been called "one of the most environmentally sensitive buildings in the nation."
The Center, which provides much-needed space for classrooms and includes Wisconsin's first nature preschool, achieved a Gold level LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for using local materials, recycling construction waste, and not using oil-based paints or plywood with formaldehyde.
Other green features of the Center include:
- Geoexchange heat pumps, which use the constant temperature beneath the earth to provide both heating and cooling-minimizing dependence on fossil fuels
- Low-flow, low water usage plumbing fixtures
- Photovoltaic generation of electricity
- Site-harvested lumber for timber frames and exterior decking
- Natural and heat recovery ventilation, which saves energy by recovering the heat energy in exhaust air and transferring it to fresh air as it enters the building
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